Tigers Host A Pair Of SEC West Foes In Mississippi State And Alabama

Jonelle Wallace

Sept. 30, 2010

Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader

AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team continues its homestand as Mississippi State and in-state rival Alabama travel to the Student Activities Center this weekend. The Tigers (11-5, 2-2 SEC) face the Bulldogs Friday in a 7 p.m. match and then take on the Crimson Tide Sunday in a 1:30 p.m. face off.

"Mississippi State is a team that has vastly improved over a year and Alabama is always ready to play no matter what each teams' records may say," head coach Wade Benson said. "We will see these two teams come here and play passionately and be extremely tough against us. What we have to do as a team is raise our level like I know we can and execute."

Live stats are available and can be found on Auburn volleyball's schedule website. Also, get in-match updates by following AUVolleyball on Twitter.

Friday's match against Mississippi State will kick of the first day of "Breast Cancer Awareness" month as the team holds its annual "Dig For The Cure" match. The first 250 fans will receive a pink koozie and all fans are encouraged to wear pink.

Auburn hosts a mid-week match against Georgia on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Student Activities Center. The 7 p.m. match will be televised live on ESPNU and is Auburn's first televised home match since the 2006 season.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are coming off a split weekend as they defeated SEC West rival Arkansas in five sets and lost to No. 17 LSU in three sets. The Bulldogs (9-5, 1-2 SEC) started the season off on a seven-match winning streak before losing to Southern Illinois on Sept. 10 at the Saluki Invitational.

Junior Caitlin Rance and freshman Paris Perret lead the way for the Bulldogs. Rance has 186 kills and ranks third among the SEC, while Perret is third in the SEC with 462 assists and is averaging 9.43 assists per set. This will be the 43rd matchup between the Bulldogs and the Tigers with Auburn holding a 28-14 advantage.

The Alabama Crimson Tide will travel to the Plains Sunday afternoon after facing Georgia on Friday night. Alabama is looking to earn its first conference win of the short season. Prior to the start of the SEC season, the Crimson Tide had won seven in a row before hitting a three game skid against Ole Miss, LSU, and Arkansas.

Sophomore Kayla Fitterer and senior Kayla Schmidt have given Alabama a huge boost on the offensive side as Fitterer ranks sixth in the SEC in kills with 154 and is averaging 3.50 kills per set. Schmidt ranks ninth in the SEC in assists, averaging 6.30 assists per set. Alabama holds a 22-20 advantage over Auburn, with the Tigers coming away with a three-set victory at the Student Activities Center in the two teams' final meeting of the season.